Aerosoles on the Block?

Aerosoles is searching for a new owner, Footwear News has learned.

According to industry sources, the firm owned by New Jersey-based Aerogroup International, could be up for sale.

Financial advisers in the industry told FN that potential bidders remain unknown at the moment, but there may be some interest from private equity firms and strategic buyers.

“But it depends on the price,” said one adviser, who declined to be named because his firm may be involved in the potential transaction.

Most sellers generally look for a price of 10 to 12 times EBITDA, while companies seeking to buy are offering five to six times, sources explained.

Another source said, “This is not a Cole Haan, where Nike is saying, ‘Anyone can have it, just give me the money.’ The owners — in this case [CEO] Jules [Schneider] — are going to dictate [which buyer, if any,] gets it.”

The size of the Aerosoles business is not known. The firm is owned by Schneider, 61, and a group of investors who bought it from Kenneth Cole in 1987 and took it private.

The brand is currently distributed in department stores and specialty retailers, and operates more than 100 owned retail stores and outlets, according to its website.

Aerosoles also is distributed in more than 15 countries, including China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Turkey and India.

The firm recently inked a deal in March with India-based exporter Tata International, which will produce and distribute the Aerosoles brand in Europe and India.

An email to the company was not returned on Tuesday.

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